Developer: Doublehit Games
Publisher: Doublehit Games
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Platformer
Platform: PC (Steam)
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 20.08.2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Eternal Hope is a puzzle platformer with a beautiful design. The story follows the journey of Ti’bi on his quest for the love of his life. Like the protagonist, did I fall in love during this game or was I left without hope? Find out in this Rapid Review.
A Bittersweet Story
Eternal Hope begins with two people being wildly in love. It’s a story pretty well known in gaming, but the game does shake this classic formula up a bit. Unfortunate events lead to you, the player, needing to navigate the shadow world in the search for your lover’s soul. I’m not going to head into spoiler territory as the three and a half hour run time should best be experienced without any prior knowledge. One thing that I should note, however, is that despite Eternal Hope’s colourful design this game deals with some sensitive topics. There are visual references to suicide as well as an overall dark tone. These scenes aren’t overly graphic but are still present, often in the form of silhouettes.
Additionally, there are some really heart-warming (or breaking!) moments evoking a variety of emotions and overall, Eternal Hope delivers a solid narrative in its small timeframe.
A Little Help From Your Friends
A quest on the search for a soul will obviously not come without its challenges so the game offers a little help in the form of Shadow Creatures. Eternal Hope allows you to travel between worlds: the ‘normal’ and ‘shadow’ world. By the tap of a button, the level changes into the shadow world for a limited time. By enabling this feature, Shadow Creatures will appear and help me progress through the level. For example, the Shadow Creatures could hold me up to reach the next platform or protect me from an oncoming boulder. The inclusion of a time limit added a sense of urgency to the gameplay, creating a nice level of challenge, racing against the clock.
Visually, Eternal Hope looks beautiful. The game combines silhouettes and colour together, visually looking like someone had collected different pieces of coloured paper and arranged them on top of each other. It’s an excellent design with the shadows and silhouettes starkly contrasting with the coloured backdrop. Perhaps the design is a metaphor, the darkness of death combining with the colour of life?
All in all, Eternal Hope was visually stunning, and I could have used any moment from my playthrough as screenshots for the review.
The Unfortunate Pitfalls
The highs of Eternal Hope are high, but the lows are very low. The overall design, music and atmosphere are great, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. In the first half of the game, falling from a ridiculously low height causes a reset to the last checkpoint. And to add insult to injury, checkpoints are few and far between, meaning that there were many times when I had completed a puzzle and failed right at the end simply because I didn’t see a ladder and instead jumped down a tiny platform.
It’s an incredibly annoying issue that really impacted my experience because aside from this I was invested in the story and design. I feel like this issue could be patched in the future. I understand that the low threshold for fall damage can’t be easily changed but some extra checkpoints scattered throughout would go a long way.
Hope or Hopeless?
Eternal Hope features a decent three-and-a-half-hour story with some excellent music and an interesting design with excellent use of colour. Unfortunately, the gameplay issues just cannot be ignored. With additional checkpoints or a change in how the game deals with fall damage, Eternal Hope would have been one of my favourite independent games but alas the issues are there and it’s disappointing.